French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed maintaining the Kyoto Protocol, against the European Union's preferred position, as he warned on Thursday U.N. climate talks were heading for disaster.

So people want to keep Kyoto, OK let's keep Kyoto. But let us agree on an overall political umbrella, he said in a speech to delegates.

The EU wants U.N. climate talks to agree a new treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol because Kyoto does not bind climate actions by all developed countries and does not require anything from developing nations.

Developing nations' preference for retaining Kyoto has been one of many stumbling blocks at Dec 7-18 talks to reach a new global climate pact.

Time is against us, let's stop posturing, said Sarkozy.

A failure in Copenhagen would be a catastrophe for each and every one of us.

We need to change track or we are heading for disaster, he said proposing a meeting on Thursday evening of the main leaders to finally start negotiation seriously on a compromise text. Let's negotiate hard tonight.

If we keep on heading where we're going we are heading for failure.

Sarkozy urged ministers and leaders to adopt a full climate treaty in June 2010. Let's give ourselves six months after the Copenhagen conference to transform political commitments into a legal text.